Dance Base & Dance House
- Kelly Apter
- 4 January 2008
There was a time when dance classes meant scraped back buns, stern ballet teachers and splinters from the church hall floor. Not anymore. At the sleek studios of Edinburgh’s Dance Base, there’s not a loose plank in sight, and enjoyment, rather than examination, is on the agenda.
Catering for younger dancers has long been a priority at Dance Base, but this year the centre is offering more variety than ever, with 20 different classes to choose from. Artistic director Morag Deyes feels the rising popularity of electronic gadgetry has made physical movement increasingly important.
‘Obesity, stagnation and arse-numbing thumb banditry can sometimes be the order of the day,’ says Deyes. ‘That’s why the Wii was invented, to get them off their kiddie butts and into real live and kicking action. Dance does exactly that, as well as expanding your imagination.’
The spring programme at Dance Base features a new Dance and Play class for toddlers, Creative Dance for ages 2–5, Movement Explorers for 5–7-year-olds breakdance and ballet for ages 7–10 and lots more. Teenagers have ten classes dedicated to them, ranging from hip hop to contemporary. For those yet to decide on a style that suits, the Mini Dance Academy, covering ages 5–10, introduces four separate dance techniques.
Similarly, at Glasgow’s Dance House, you’ll find a ‘Funk Workout’, street dance and hip hop classes. Plus parent and toddler classes and mini movers at their outreach centre at The Stand, Clydebank.
‘It’s all about freedom,’ says Deyes. ‘Freedom of expression, physically and mentally. A good dance class sets you free to fall over, laugh, try again, stand on one leg or your head and make like a crazy person.’